» If you stop advertising will people stop buying? HouseOfBrew – Unplugged and Brewed

If you stop advertising will people stop buying?

Driving on a Sunday morning,
I noticed billboards advertising products that I enjoy.  Taking more notice, I was amazed at how many billboards I have trained myself to ignore on the path of my common routes.  The highways are littered with old school billboards and the new BIG LCD ones.

Then I noticed on the radio,
that my favorite songs were no longer playing.  In fact, it was a slew of 30 second commercials.  I haven’t noticed them in a long time, as we normally utilize compact discs or one of the 5 Ipods in our household.  When I do listen to the radio, it’s on my drive to work, which is long enough for about 2 songs.  If a commercial interrupts my listening enjoyment, I simply change the channel.

Television is like this too in my house.
70% of what we watch is prerecorded on our DVR.  Another 20% is downloaded or watched streamed over the internet.  Commercials are rarely viewed in real time.  The fast forward button is heavily worn on our remote.  We do stop the fast forwarding if  they look entertaining.  Funny thing is, we can remember those funny commercials, but always forget what company they are for, or what that company actually does.

I’ve trained myself to ignore direct marketing,
like one might think of white noise pumped into an office building.  You know it’s there, but it’s just a gentle hum as you go about your day.  If you choose to take notice to it, you’ll hear it, but most times you’re too wrapped up in everything else that’s going on.   Am I alone on this?  I still buy Sprite, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and my favorite beers and liquors, regardless of push marketing.  I’d love to hear your take on one simple question:

If we stopped advertising, would people stop buying?

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  • http://JimRaffel.com/ Jim Raffel

    Brew, It depends how we define advertising. Kodak for example turned last season’s Apprentice into one great big product placement. I for example “advertise” the Jim Raffel of JimRaffel.com brand on my blog each time I write a post. Perhaps advertising is become more integrated (or what some people term human) – seems to me the jury is really out on where it’s going and what it will look like in the next few years. It sure won’t look like network radio, TV and billboards of the 70′s and 80′s that’s for sure.

    • Anonymous

      Right on, Jim. I guess my head was around push, direct advertising. It’s interesting that you talk about the television show, because in a way, I think they are trying to build a similar experience to a friend talking to you about a product. If you love the show, you should trust the show, and the show has now earned the right to suggest product to you? Does product placement really work? I’m thrilled to see what the next round of advertising looks like.

  • Bradley

    I have noticed that “commercials” have little effect on what I want or buy, especially now during “election” season.

    • Anonymous

      Ah yes, the election season. What a great example of “Advertising” that I have trained myself to tune out.

  • http://linkedin.com/in/joesorge Joe Sorge

    Brew, I whole-heartedly believe that most companies could stop advertising altogether in this interruption style. It’s no secret that permission marketing flat out works.

    • Anonymous

      I think it’s funny that the “idea” of this type of marketing has been around for quite a long time, yet stubborn marketers have continued to focus on the older methods because “they work” in their minds.

  • Anonymous

    We’re seeing a fundamental shift from the traditional ‘push’ style marketing to a permission based or ‘pull’ marketing. Consumers have become completely desensitized to traditional methods. They will seek you out on their own terms. The key is to be available and relevant so when consumers are looking, they will find your product or service. At that point you can deliver your message.

    • Anonymous

      You make an excellent point, Michael: Not only do you need to be available, but you need to be relevant. Thanks for the great comment.

  • http://tumblr.tomhenrich.com Tom Henrich

    My guess — and this is purely that, a guess, not based on any market research — is that even though we think we’re tuning out all this advertising, we’re really not. The sheer quantity of marketing we’re exposed to on a daily basis has to be having an effect. No?

    That said, I feel I’ve gotten pretty good at noticing direct product placement in movies and TV shows, and almost make a point of *not* buying those products. On the flip side, the only soda I drink anymore is Mountain Dew, yet I don’t recall seeing any commercials or billboards for it anywhere. So what does that say for marketing vs products speaking for themselves?

    • Anonymous

      Products definitely need to speak for themselves, but you still need some form of “advertising” so that people know what they are finding when they find you. It’s just that the form of “advertising” is changing.

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